Homeworker who lost everything in fire is back with new Greek venture

Homeworker launches new business
By Travel Gossip Reporters
17/10/2023
Home » Homeworker who lost everything in fire is back with new Greek venture

A homeworker who suffered a catastrophe just months ago has launched a new business focused on the Greek island of Poros.

In May, Natalie Batchelor from Henfield came home from picking up her son after a school trip to find her home and possessions had been badly damaged in a fire

A Gofundme campaign raised £1,350, which helped Natalie and her son Archie get back on their feet while living in emergency accommodation.

Fast forward five months and while Natalie is still waiting to get back into her home, dealing with insurers and using foodbanks, she has launched a new company, Travel Different, selling accommodation and tours in Poros and the Saronic Gulf.

The new venture came about after a chance trip to Poros with Archie. Natalie told Travel Gossip: “Years ago I had worked in Poros running a small tour operator and watersports company. I remained good friends with the owners of the DMC (Destination Management Company) there – Eleni and Stathis Kontogouri from Greek Island Tours. When they heard about the fire they offered for us to come over and visit for a week, just to have a break, which was so kind of them.”

It was on her last day, just before she was about to board the ferry to Athens, that Natalie and Stathis (pictured above with Natalie and Archie) came up with the idea for the business.

“I was sitting there and just thought ‘I need to do this’,” added Natalie. “I knew I needed the protection of an ATOL and I was on the plane home and thought of Vishal [Patel at Travelpack].

“He has always been amazing so I reached out to him and he was really keen to support me and work together. Everything will be booked through Travelpack and I will essentially be the sales person.

“Without the travel trade, the Gofundme support and my Greek friends reaching out I don’t know where I’d be – all this good has happened because of the support.”

Vishal told Travel Gossip: “I was sold straight away and wanted to help her. She had already done most of the leg work at this point, and was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. We discussed the requirements and how we work at Travelpack. She quickly grasped and respected our business model, she is a lovely lady and I am very much looking forward to supporting her on this venture.”

Natalie is currently launching training on Poros, with the first one planned for this Friday, 20 October. Anyone interested can contact her on [email protected]

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